How to Reduce Your Risk of Getting into a Car Accident
Car accidents are devastating and unfortunate, but it’s not always possible to avoid them. Overall, driving is a dangerous activity and needs to be done with not only with your safety in mind but others as well. Although some road accidents are unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting into a car accident. These practices can make the road safer for you and everyone else.
Never Drive Distracted
Distracted driving is one of the biggest problems on the road today. It occurs when a driver is texting while driving, eating behind the wheel, engaging in a phone conversation, even one that’s hands-free in many instances, or turning around to monitor unruly children. No matter what the distraction, it serves to take your eyes off the road and can also take your hands off the wheel.
Most states banned texting while driving several years ago. In Texas, however, the act was only banned in 2017. There are no strict hands-free specifications in the state, but it’s illegal to use a smartphone in a school zone. In addition, drivers under age 18 and school bus drivers are prohibited from using mobile phones in any form while driving.
Avoid Buzzed Driving
Driving while drunk is a huge problem and poses significant dangers to everyone on the road. However, even buzzed driving should be avoided in order to stay safe. Even if you have only had a single drink, alcohol can impair your judgment and slow your reaction time.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Texas drivers report driving after drinking alcohol at a much higher rate than the national average. The CDC has found that one out of three fatalities in road accidents involves a drunk driver. The rate of this in Texas is even higher than that. If you drink while you’re out and have your car, leave it be and take a cab home or call a friend or family member for a ride.
Be Aware of Your Speed
There are speed limits posted throughout the roads to keep everyone safe. Driving at a higher speed than the limit can put you and others at risk. It also makes it more difficult to slow down when necessary and stop safely.
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 9,500 people were killed on roads in 2015 as a result of speeding. Additionally, it’s important to know that speed limits only apply to safe driving conditions. When the weather is bad, the lighting is poor or there are repairs being made to roads, you should slow down.
Always be careful when parking on the street and in parking lots. Too often, people focus only on a parking spot in a lot and underestimate potential dangers, especially when there are pedestrians everywhere. Be aware and be cautious of other vehicles and pedestrians.
Drive safely at all times. Buckle your seat belt and make sure all passengers buckle up as well. Follow all road signs and plan your route ahead of time to avoid heavy traffic or hazards, if possible. Always get plenty of rest before driving and avoid getting behind the wheel when you’re drowsy.
If you have been in a car accident and need advice from a skilled Austin car accident attorney, contact Briggle & Polan at your earliest convenience at (512) 400-3278